Melbourne Airport

News & events

Melbourne Airport soars to 27.7 million passengers in 2010

Jan 20, 2011

A strong December has seen a record 27.7 million travellers pass through Melbourne Airport in the 2010 calendar year, an increase of 10 per cent over 2009.

The record result was boosted by a 14 per cent increase in international passengers in 2010 over the previous calendar year to reach 5.9 million international passengers.

Passenger numbers at Melbourne Airport during December 2010 increased by 12 per cent compared to December 2009 to reach 2,498,813 passengers, excluding transits.

International passengers for December 2010 increased by 13 per cent on December 2009 to reach 591,108 passengers - an additional 67,682 international passengers through Melbourne Airport.

The strong international passenger performance was driven by growth from the United Kingdom, Asia and New Zealand.

United Kingdom passport holders were up 20 per cent, China up 26 per cent, New Zealand up 19 per cent, Malaysia 12 per cent, Singapore 7 per cent and India 6 per cent.

Domestic passengers increased by 11 per cent in December, or an additional 188,848 passengers, over the same period last year to reach 1,907,705 passengers.

Melbourne Airport Chief Executive Officer Chris Woodruff said, "December passenger growth was helped by the Ashes series and the travelling English supporters. We welcomed 40,091 United Kingdom passport holders in December, a 20 per cent increase over the same period last year."

"This result reinforces the significance of Victoria's year round major events calendar as a key driver of tourism," he said.

"We work hard to offer our airline customers the best commercial proposition possible and tightly manage costs to deliver significantly lower charges than our interstate competitors."

"We operate 24 hours which allows for scheduling flexibility, have a single terminal precinct allowing for ease of domestic and international connection and are in very close proximity to the CBD, which is only a 20 minute bus ride away."

"Melbourne Airport continues to attract new airline services. During the quarter, Air China, China Eastern and China Southern began daily direct services between Melbourne and China for the first time, providing more capacity to China than ever before."

"Access to Asia, Victoria's fastest growing market, was further buoyed by the launch of Jetstar's new daily Singapore service in December, which provides a springboard to a further 22 destinations across Asia via Jetstar's Singapore base."

"Jetstar also launched new direct daily Melbourne flights to Auckland and twice weekly flights to Queenstown in December, offering terrific value and a greater choice of travel options to New Zealand."

"Last quarter Royal Brunei Airlines announced that they will commence direct services between Melbourne and the Brunei capital Bandar Seri Begawan from March 2011."

"We are catering for continuing growth with our international terminal redevelopment. Last month we unveiled a range of exciting new retail and food and beverage offerings in an entirely new international passenger precinct designed with the traveller experience in mind."

"Our confidence in Victoria's tourism future is reflected in a $1 billion investment over the next five years to ensure that our terminal facilities, airfield and road infrastructure can continue to meet increasing demand."

"We thank all of our airline customers for their ongoing commitment and support of the Victorian market."


                Quarter 2

Financial Year to Date

    2010 Calendar Year


























Dec 10



Dec 09








+ 12%






+ 14%




+ 9%






+ 9%

Total ex transits









+ 10%




+ 15%






+ 3%




+ 10%






+ 10%

Appendix - 2010: A review of the year

The calendar year to 31 December 2010 saw strong passenger growth of 10 per cent at Melbourne Airport, with a record 27,731,252 passengers through the airport.

International review

An additional 714,344 international passengers flocked to Melbourne during 2010 to reach 5,920,581 passengers, an increase of 14 per cent.

Melbourne's international passenger percentage growth rate consistently outperformed that of its major competitors in 2010.

The key international growth markets were Asian: Malaysia (up 22 per cent), China (22 per cent), Indonesia (18 per cent) and Singapore (11 per cent).

Other Asian markets that contributed to high international passenger growth were Japan 18 per cent, South Korea 15 per cent, Taiwan 18 per cent, Sri Lanka 10 per cent and Thailand 11 per cent.

European markets also contributed to the increase in international passenger numbers, with France up 15 per cent, Italy up 14 per cent, Germany up 14 per cent and Ireland up 9 per cent.

Traditional markets also experienced growth, with passport holders from New Zealand up 5 per cent and the United Kingdom up 8 per cent.

Growth in the United States market flattened as the Australian dollar reached its highest level versus the US dollar since it was floated in 1983.

International travel by Australian passport holders increased by 16 per cent, driven by the strong Australian dollar, low fares and solid economic conditions.

New and increased international airline services in 2010 included:

  • Jetstar introducing daily services to Singapore, twice weekly services to Queenstown and daily services to Auckland.
  • The Virgin Blue Group adding an additional weekly service to Los Angeles and increasing services to Denpasar, Christchurch and Nadi.
  • AirAsia X increasing services to Kuala Lumpur.
  • China Southern increasing to daily services to Guangzhou.
  • Air China increasing services to Shanghai and, for the first time, direct to Beijing.
  • China Eastern increasing to daily services to Shanghai.
  • Qatar increasing to daily services to Doha.
  • Vietnam Airlines increasing services to Hanoi.
  • Emirates boosting capacity through aircraft upgrades to Auckland, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
  • Qantas progressively increasing A380 services to London and Los Angeles.

International seat capacity for the calendar year grew by 1,000,712 seats, an increase of 13 per cent.

Melbourne international passenger growth for the 2010 calendar year by passport holder:



North America  


China +22%

France +15%

Canada +8%

Australia +16%

India +3%

Germany +14%

USA +0%

New Zealand +5%

Indonesia +18%

Ireland +9%


Japan +18%

Italy +14%


Malaysia +22%

UK +8%


Singapore +11%


South Korea +15%


Sri Lanka +10%


Taiwan +18%


Thailand +11%


Vietnam +9%



Domestic review


Domestic passengers increased by 9 per cent in 2010, or an additional 1,763,367 passengers, over 2009 to reach 21,684,613 passengers.

Domestic airline service developments in 2010 included:

  • Jetstar commencing services to Brisbane in July, adding additional services to Adelaide, Cairns, Gold Coast, Hobart, Launceston, Newcastle, Sunshine Coast, Sydney and Townsville, and recommencing services to Ballina Byron Bay.
  • The Qantas Group continued to be a strong presence in our domestic market, launching to Karratha, Mildura and Port Hedland and increasing services to Adelaide, Brisbane, Devonport and Launceston.
  • Virgin Blue increased services to Coffs Harbour and added capacity to Darwin and Gold Coast.
  • Regional Express (Rex) continued to grow its newly launched services to Griffith.
  • Skywest Airlines recommenced services to Kalgoorlie.
  • Tiger commenced daily Cairns services, increased services to Adelaide, Hobart and Sunshine Coast, and recommenced services to Darwin.

Domestic seat capacity grew by 2,371,768 seats, an increase of 10 per cent.


To accommodate continuing growth, in 2010 Melbourne Airport successfully completed a $1.25 billion refinancing through a combination of new bank facilities and a placement of domestic notes to restructure existing debt and provide a facility for capital expenditure to increase infrastructure capacity.

For further information, please contact: Melbourne Airport Media - (03) 9335 3666

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